Eddie Howe reacts to Newcastle United's third successive defeat
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The Premier League champions inflicted a third successive defeat on their visitors, who were beaten in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley by Manchester United last weekend.
However, Newcastle had as many chances as their hosts at the Etihad Stadium – and Howe felt that his team's performance was “really positive”.
"I thought it was a very good performance from us in many aspects," United’s head coach told BBC Sport. “I thought we pressed really well and were brave. I thought the players were committed to that. I thought we unsettled them.
"But they have a habit of scoring with minimal chances, which is what they did today. And we had chances but it weren't as clinical as them.
"It's just one of those things, I think we're going through a phase where that's happening to us.
"I think our general performance, we have to be very positive about. We have to acknowledge that there's improvements to make, but, compared to last year, we're getting closer. We have to be positive about that.
"We're trying to be the team. We want to be in every game. We haven't tried to change our approach, because I don't think you learn from it, and the scoreline probably becomes a heavier defeat.
"We want to be aggressive and progressive. Now there are still areas for us to improve in, but I think our performance here today is really positive."